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Category Archives: Industry News

New Jersey Law Causes Companies To Pull Gift Cards

    American Express and two other companies say they’re pulling gift cards off store shelves in New Jersey because of a law requiring merchants to collect zip codes from card buyers. Retailers have sued to block the law, which allows the state to take control of unused balances after two years.

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    At some point, you likely received a present from a prepaid gift card from the person who wasn’t exactly sure what you’d want. Residents of New Jersey may not be able to buy them for much longer. American Express has pulled its gift cards from the state, and other big industry players are threatening to do the same. They oppose a new law that would allow New Jersey to claim unused gift card balances after two years. NPR’s Joel Rose reports.

    JOEL ROSE, BYLINE: Think about the Home Depot card floating around in your junk drawer, and that iTunes card in your wallet. Maybe you’ve got a few unspent dollars here, five dollars there. Add it up, and you’re looking at real money. And the state of New Jersey would be happy to be hold onto it for you.

    ANDY PRATT: If you never use that card, the value of that card is lost. The retailer doesn’t go back, find you, say, look. You know, it’s been five years since you’ve bought this card. Would you like your money back?

    ROSE: Andy Pratt is a spokesman for the New Jersey Department of Treasury. He says a state law passed in 2010 will protect consumers by forcing gift card companies to hand over those unspent balances if the card has been inactive for two years.

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    NJ lawmakers may scrap troubled gift card law

      A legislative panel is expected on Thursday to consider legislation reversing a 2010 law that allowed the state to claim the value of dormant gift cards as revenue.

      The Senate Budget Committee will vote on whether to remove gift cards from the state’s unclaimed property law. The bill also would prohibit retailers from charging dormancy fees on idle cards or imposing expiration dates on their use, two consumer protection features the industry supports, according to Retail Merchants Association spokesman John Holub.

      Under budget legislation signed into law two years ago, the state can lay claim to gift cards that go unused for two years. The law requires gift card sellers to obtain ZIP codes from buyers so the state can claim the value of the cards. Without such information, the value of unused cards reverts to the company or to the state in which the company is incorporated.

      New Jersey projected $65 million in revenue from unused cards, travelers checks and money orders the first year the law was expanded, but retailers sued and the law has stalled. The bill being considered Thursday would ensure it isn’t implemented.

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      NJ Senate may scrap troubled gift card law

        June 21, 2012 3:25 PM NJ Senate may scrap troubled gift card law   TRENTON, N.J. — New Jersey’s Senate Budget Committee will take a vote Thursday on reversing a 2-year-old law that allows the state to claim the value of dormant gift cards. The measure was delayed last month so consumer protections could be

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        Plastic Jungle Receives Strategic Investment From Citi Ventures Funding From Citigroup Unit Will Accelerate Bringing Liquidity to Gift Card Economy

          SAN MATEO, CA, Jan 18, 2012 (MARKETWIRE via COMTEX) — Plastic Jungle, the web’s largest secured gift card exchange, today announced that Citi Ventures, a unit of the global financial services company Citigroup, has made a strategic investment in Plastic Jungle. Plastic Jungle brings liquidity to the secondary gift card market by allowing people to

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          Reports Show Mobile Payments Are Catching On

            Consumers on the go are using their smartphones to pay for items they buy in a bricks-and-mortar environment, according to reports released by retailers this week. Baby apparel and toys seller Magic Beans, a 5-store chain based in the Boston area, saw that 18% of all transactions were made with mobile self-checkout in lieu of

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            Safeway’s Prepaid Card Issuer Files for IPO

              March 18, 2013 by Paul Ausick Source: Thinkstock The unit of Safeway Inc. (NYSE: SWY) that issues gift cards and other prepaid and reloadable cards this morning filed a Form S-1 with the U.S. Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) to raise up to $200 million in an initial public offering. The unit, which will be called

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